Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Sauce

More that just sharing recipes, my hope is that those of you who want to try your hand at pressure cooking will learn to adapt your own recipes for the pressure cooker.  I’m going to share how I do spaghetti sauce in the pressure cooker.  If I were doing this in a regular pot, I would simmer it for several hours, add meatballs and then cook it for another half hour or so.  In the pressure cooker, I make meat sauce instead of meatballs.

For this recipe, I used the 3.5 liter Kuhn Rikon.  One pound of ground beef was browned.  A chopped onion and several cloves of chopped garlic were added.

Next, about a cup of parsley was added.  I didn’t even chop it because I will use the immersion blender to blend everything up.  Chad would die if he saw a tomato in the spaghetti sauce, though he knows they’re in there — he does not want to bite into even a tiny piece of tomato.

Then I added 2 quarts of home canned tomatoes.  While we’re talking about tomatoes . . just look at those rascals.  Do you ever open a can of storebought tomatoes that look like these?  When I open a jar of tomatoes, I always grab myself a little chunk of tomato and they taste just like fresh off the vine!  In fact, we sometimes drain these and use them in a salad and they’re great!  They’re too liquidy to use on a sandwich but they do work great in a salad.

So, I added the tomatoes, liquid and all.  At this point, I put the lid on, and bring the pressure up to high and cook 10 minutes.  Then I let the pressure fall on its own.

Taste the sauce to see if it needs salt.  The home canned tomatoes have salt and I usually don’t have to add more salt.  Add whatever spices you like.  I added fennel seed, oregano, and basil.  I added a few squirts of tomato paste.  We’re not big tomato paste fans and usually about a tablespoon or two is all we use so, even though buying it in tubes is more expensive, it’s cost effective since one tube lasts us a long time.  Also add a tablespoon or so of brown sugar.

Simmer, with the lid off, for about 15 minutes for the spices to blend, stirring often.  NOTE: Since I’m using home canned tomatoes, there’s a lot of liquid in my sauce and some of that will cook off during those 15 minutes.  If using storebought canned tomatoes, you may need to add a little water, or simmer less time.  Watch closely to be sure the sauce doesn’t scorch.  I have not had a problem with scorching, but some have.  It may have to do with the difference in the liquid in my tomatoes.


  1. 1


    Why do the spices go in afterwards instead of during the pressure cooking? One of the reasons sauces are simmered so long is to incorporate all of the seasoning throughout the sauce. Though I really like the idea of not having to keep watching and stirring a pot of sauce for hours. I’ve used my pressure cooker for making beef stew in under 30 min (from pulling the ingredients out of the refrigerator to dishing up onto a plate) for years. It tastes great, the vegetables aren’t overcooked and the meat is always tender when done in the pressure cooker. Thanks Judy

  2. 2

    Toni in TN says

    Looks yummy. I put glops of tomato paste on a piece of parchment paper and flash freeze before bagging them up. Much more cost effective than the tubes. Then you just add as much as needed.

  3. 3

    Barbara says

    I ordered the 5 quart Kuhn Rikon a few days ago, so I’m very happy to see you explaining how to adapt recipes.

    I have the same question as Patty…why spices after the pressure cooking part?


  4. 4


    You say to simmer the sauce for 15 minutes. But do you pressure cook it for 15 minutes? Do you ever find that it burns or scorches on the bottom?

    I am a huge pressure cooking fan, produced a pressure cooking DVD, Pressure Cooking: A Fresh Look, Delicious Dishes in Minutes, and I am actually writing a pressure cooking cookbook right now.

    I applaud you for getting people to use a pressure cooker.

    BTW, your home canned tomatoes are beautiful.

  5. 5

    Chris Wells says

    Pressure Canners are much easier to use and safer than when I was a kid in the 50’s. I use mine all the time too. Chris

  6. 6


    I am going to use my new pressure cooker today. I am trying to find a recipe for a beef chuck roast. I’ve found some, they say to cook anywhere from 45 min to 1 hr. this seems like a long time. Does this sound right?

  7. 7

    Laura says

    Your sauce looks great!

    Before reading the post, I looked at the pictures and thought “where did she get those beautiful fresh tomatoes in the middle of winter?” then I read that you canned them. Wow!

    I also use my smaller pressure cooker for sauces, it reaches pressure faster and circumvents the whole “scorching” problem vs. someone who might use tomato puree’ which is less liquidy and more likely to scroch. Personally, I useed chopped tomatoes… not as beautiful as your whole but less dense than the puree. They get the job done!

    Happy Pressure cooking, I look forward to more of your recipes.


    hip pressure cooking
    making pressure cookers hip again, one recipe at a time!

  8. 8

    Emilie Kopenhaver says

    My question is I make my own Meat Sauce and would like to pressure jar my sauce. How long do I need to cook it before I pressure seal the jars in the pressure/caner I do Pint and Quart size jars. thank you…

    • 8.1


      I’m not really qualified to give canning advice but there are lots of websites that have wonderful info. Do a bit of research or check out some books in your library. You need to be real careful when using meat. I do it but I don’t want to give advice on doing it.